Mercury is a heavy metal which constitutes 50% of dental amalgam “silver” fillings and is released into the body continuously, especially through chewing and drinking hot liquids.
Crowns containing metals and metal dentures in the presence of mercury fillings also cause increased release of mercury into the body. It also occurs in “large” fish such as tuna, swordfish and shark. The levels depend on whether the fish are farmed or not.
Why is mercury a problem?
Mercury is a major neurotoxin and can affect the health of some individuals more than others. Among many impacts on the body it is implicated in harming the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, reproductive system, immune system and oral and intestinal floras (it is strongly implicated in resistant Candida). In the developing foetus and children, mercury can have an impact on the nervous system development. It crosses the placental barrier into the foetus and is also excreted in breast milk.
Before dental amalgam removal, we highly recommend that a detoxification process is started. This should be under the supervision of a qualified naturopath or an integrative GP.
The detox diet
- Good fats such as extra virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil, macadamia oil, flax and chia seeds, and avocado are important as heavy metals are fat and protein soluble. They help maintain cell wall integrity and assist waste disposal.
- Increase your intake of high quality protein such as organic free range eggs.
- Coriander and other green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and parsley. Coriander in particular helps mobilise mercury at a cellular level.
- Turmeric/Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent, and is also an immune booster. It is not very bioavailable, therefore it’s best to combine it with a healthy oil such as extra virgin olive or coconut oil whenever possible in recipes. The uptake is greatly increased where the key ingredient of black pepper (piperine) is taken with curcumin and many supplements now include it.
- Garlic and onions contain sulphur which helps your liver detoxify itself of heavy metals.
- Foods rich in vitamin C have antioxidant properties.
- Wheatgrass has chlorophyll as its main ingredient is. It is rich in amino acids, which bind to heavy metals and help eliminate them.
Foods to avoid
- Farmed fish
- Large fish such as tuna and swordfish, which can be high in mercury
- Artificial colouring and additives in foods
- Fruit and vegetables that have been exposed to chemicals
- Alcohol, and other food allergens.
Far infra-red sauna
At Lotus we offer far infra-red sauna sessions:
- An excellent, easy way to detox through releasing toxins from sweating through the skin, helping to eliminate heavy metals, radioactive particles, pesticides and petrochemicals
- Improves circulation and boosts metabolism
- Helps eliminate xenobiotics (man-made environmental toxins).
Other ways of detoxing
- Water – drinking 200ml every hour helps maintain a healthy pH balance and flush out toxins. Adding lemon to your water alkalises it.
- Oil pulling – an ancient Ayurvedic technique where organic oil is swished in the mouth for 15 to 20 min daily. Coconut oil is a popular choice for taste; also olive, sunflower or sesame oil.
- Deep breathing and pranayama exercise and yoga asanas – these help in increasing the pH of saliva, urine and blood, and have many benefits for the entire body and mind.
Key detox supplements
- Probiotics – to boost immunity and improve gut health. Digestive enzymes may help break down and absorb nutrients.
- Vitamin C – up to 3000mg daily – this helps reduce free radicals.
- Chlorella – a natural chelator to eliminate mercury and other heavy metals. 30% of patients don’t absorb chlorella and need cellulose to help ease the absorption.
- Glutathione and alpha lipoic acid – sulphur-containing amino acids which are both water and fat soluble
- Healthy levels of magnesium, selenium, zinc and vitamin D are important for the detoxification process.
- I/V vitamin infusion of vitamin C and glutathione and other vitamin supplements. These can be beneficial, but patients need to be assessed by an integrative doctor and this is done under their supervision.
- Synthetic Chelation – DMPA/DMSA/EDTA – these are to be taken strictly under the supervision of an integrative doctor, for patients who are very heavily mercury toxic. These do have side effects, hence patients need to be monitored and treated by a GP.